School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Critical Care

The BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Critical Care has been designed to support and challenge nurses and allied healthcare professionals across all healthcare sectors to understand and implement the values and principles of advancing their practice within critical care. Develop your clinical management planning skills to promote high-quality patient-focused care in clinical practice whilst learning to apply current research and evidence in your practice.

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Key features

  • Explore the role of critical care in an ever-changing health service and how that role fits into the strategic picture of the NHS in the 21st century.
  • Become a challenging and critical thinking practitioner with a range of transferable skills who can effectively contribute to service enhancement.
  • Use the best available evidence, contemporary knowledge and high-level clinical decision-making skills to underpin interventions.
  • Develop confidence, competence and emotional resilience to consistently exercise personal responsibility and professional accountability for decision making and the provision of high-quality safe care.
  • Study a programme that values prior experiential learning and experience, also taking into account the career development needs of a wide range of healthcare professionals.
  • Develop inter-professional relationships and learn to work more effectively across professional and organisational boundaries to enhance the care you give.
  • Flexibly designed programme enabling you to ‘step on and step off’ over a five-year period in response to service need and professional circumstances.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • This programme offers the awards of BSc /BSc (Hons), Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma. 
    BSc– to achieve a BSc you will need to earn 80 credits by undertaking four 20 credit core modules.
    BSc (Hons)– to achieve a BSc (Hons) you will need to earn 120 credits by undertaking five core modules - four 20 credit modules and one 40 credit module.
    If you have previously obtained a health related degree at 2:2 or above are eligible to access the programme via the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma route – please see panel below for further details.
    The module ‘HEAD361 – Independent study’ is only a core module for students who wish to achieve the BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Critical Care.
    For further information on the modules that make up this programme please visit the BSc (Hons)/ BSc Professional Development modules

    Core modules

    • Applied Physiology in Critical Illness (HEAD327P)

      This module is designed for health care professionals to provide the underpinning knowledge of anatomy and pathophysiology of critical illness in adults.

    • Independent Study (HEAD361)

      This module extends knowledge of primary and secondary research and develops critical appraisal skills. Students construct an integrative literature review of a practice focused research topic.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Critical Care pathway specification_6158

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for the BSc or BSc (Hons) programme you will need to be either a registered health and social care professional or a health and social care worker in possession of previous study at level 5 (foundation degree /diploma of higher education). 
If you wish to undertake the graduate certificate and graduate diploma award pathways you must already hold an honours degree at 2:2 or above in a health or health related subject.
You will need to be working in an environment where you can meet the module learning outcomes.
Applicants whose first language is not English must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with the University’s Admissions Code of Practice – minimum overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 6.5 average with a minimum 5.5 in each category.
Claims for credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential are accepted and will be assessed following University regulations and faculty procedures.
Extended entry requirements

Fees, costs and funding

The fee for this programme is dependent on the modules undertaken. Please see the relevant module web pages for further information

How to apply

When to apply
Applications for this programme can usually be made throughout the year. Please check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.
Apply for this programme
To apply for this programme please complete the application form and return via email to:
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case if you are an overseas student may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.
Support is also available from our International Office if you are an overseas student applying to the University.
Healthcare mechanism concept. Abstract background with connected gears and icons for medical, health, care, medicine, network, social media and global concepts. Vector infographic illustration. Copyright: Hilch, courtesy of Shutterstock.

Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma

If you have previously obtained a health related honours degree at 2:2 or above, you are eligible to access this programme via the graduate certificate/diploma route:
Graduate Certificate Professional Development in Critical Care – 60 credits at degree level
Graduate Diploma Professional Development in Critical Care – 120 credits at degree level 
Students seeking to achieve either qualification will be required to achieve the specified number of credits by choosing from a range of pathway specific modules.
Please contact the Professional Development Unit at for further information.
Postgraduate students

Opportunities for postgraduate study in critical care

Study our MSc Advanced Critical Care Practitioner and develop the knowledge and skills to undertake a comprehensive clinical assessment of a patient’s condition and initiate and manage their clinical treatment plan.

Or specialise in surgical care with our MSc Surgical Care Practitioner, which is accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons and will equip you with the practical skills to assist with complex surgical procedures, manage patients intra-operatively and be responsible for pre-operative and post-operative outpatient clinics.

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